Ashley Madison is more than hacked
After three suicides resulted from the recent revelation that the account records of this much publicized extra-marital affair sight was hacked and the information exposed, it might be time to set the record straight.
It’s well known by most that the computer dating industry is filled with fraud, deceit, theft of every kind and just plain indecency.
It might be true that there are some sights which have attempted to maintain a high standard of integrity, decency and security in helping people find a mate such as eHarmony, Christian Mingles, Match.com and Plenty of Fish but the reality is that most sights are made up of imposters and often sell their information from unwilling participants to the porn and prostitution industry.
Identity theft is just a small part of what these sights do but it’s also a large part of who they are; their appeal, notoriety and wealth dependents on it.
The recent hack, hostage and black mail by the “Impact Team” of the Ashley Madison sight
has simply brought to light facts well known by law enforcement, the porn, internet and many other communication and security industries.
The internet is wonderful and it provides instant information and communication but almost anyone with a computer can create a sight, web page or social media sight from which they can say anything and claim it’s true.
The new adage of our time, “If it’s on the internet, it’s got to be true” is certainly not just facetious but one of the greatest understatements ever.
The ironies of ironies is that Ashley Madison which claims over thirty nine million customers appears to have possibly been a fake sight made up of mostly names and faces that weren’t even real including many of the so called male accounts.
So this real sight, owned by a real company Avid Life Media, made up of a suggestively false product, lured in real men (basically playing a “con game”) who then get hacked, black mailed and their sight held hostage.
The reality however, is although 90 to 95% of the members are male, many of the male (and female) accounts weren’t real at all as many people are now coming forward claiming they never visited the site and never opened an account.
Of the claimed thirty nine million members, according to the “Impact Team” (hackers), only a few thousand female members are listed and most are fictitious.
Even the hackers (aka “Impact Team”) in discussing the so called accounts they hacked admit, "Find someone you know in here (i.e. the hacked account list)? Keep in mind the site is a s am with thousands of fake female profiles," said the post. "Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to, if that distinction matters."
The key words which actually diminish the hacker’s power are: “a scam with thousands of fake female profiles” and “but (he) never had one”.
In other words there were most probably NO real women and NO real affairs.
The hackers are obviously trying to make more of their hack of Ashley Madison than what is actually there.
It’s true the names, emails and faces might have been real enough but these poor souls (on the hacked list) might not have opened the account.
Those who know the fine art of hacking claim that anyone using a public email service and/or a social network service with a public photo could have numerous accounts or memberships in any number of organizations without their knowledge.
Apparently a vast number of hackers operating under the guise of legal consulting groups steal names, emails and photos and then in turn sell this information to dating services, the porn industry, auto manufacturers and dealers, insurance companies and even many senior adult discount services.
If you’ve ever wondered why you get annoying or embarrassing emails, that’s the reason why; your email address was stolen added to a mailing list and sold.
The bad news for many (especially men), is that if your curiosity got the best of you and you happened to have opened the email, then bam, they’ve got you; even if you didn’t open an account, the computer might have opened one for you.
According to the "Impact Team," they said they would release "profiles with all the customers' secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails".
If what is said here is true, then (according to the hackers) those who never used a credit card are technically not valid customers and have little to be concerned about.
A cyber security expert out of Norway seems to reinforce the idea that only those who used a credit card are listed saying, ”The credit card numbers listed in the data dump are valid, and many are still active”.
Other hackers however, claim it could include almost anyone. If Avid Life Media’s claim of 39 million members is correct; that’s approximately one tenth of the population of the United States. Since apparently your email doesn't have to actually need to be opened; a successful delivery to your email inbox is enough to activate some automatic accounts.
Avid Life Media says this is not true with them but many hackers disagree.
Many hackers go on to explain that unfortunately this is not limited to the dating and porn industry.
There are many horror stories of people getting notifications of loan checks ready for pick up at local mortgage companies for which they never applied leaving marks on their credit.
There are also stories of people being notified by phone that their new car (they never applied for) was ready for delivery at their local dealer.
One of the most alarming stories was of a roofing company replacing an entire roof on a home while a couple was out of town. It was all supposedly done on line utilizing an electronic signature and somehow the couple’s local bank even financed the whole thing.
When police investigated, they found the roofer had received the job from an on-line client referral service which in turn purchased their leads from an online consulting group that was actually a group of hackers who had stolen names and identities.
Many within the tech industry contend if people can’t handle the new age of technology they shouldn’t use it.
Others make the case that if a person doesn’t have anything to hide then none of this evens matter.
But the reality is, technology is necessary to live in contemporary society and as previously stated, it’s not just those with secret lives or desires that have to be concerned (with embarrassment or their private life being exposed), it’s everybody.
So before anyone else considers taking their life or filing divorce because their name or their spouse’s showed up in a hacker’s data base, review all of the potential scenarios considered in this article.
It’s doubtful that anyone ever had an actual affair apart from some suggestive pictures. If that’s the case and enough to cause you or your spouse to consider suicide or divorce, you have far greater issues than embarrassment or even an illicit affair; you need serious personal or relationship counseling in which there is no shame.
If you’re curious on looking up someone, you might want to think twice.
The hacked account data although now posted, has been done so on what is known as the "Dark Web," a part of the Internet that can't be searched by Google or most common search engines. It can only be viewed with a special Tor browser.
It has also been rumored on the net that some people are copying only portions of the data and posting to other sites,then editing or even altering to include innocent people either as a prank or on-line vengeance for some unknown reason. This altered and manipulated data is then further hacked with additional viruses and malware added.
If you’re interested in finding out if your email(s) have been stolen in a common process by hackers known as “pwning”, visit https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and enter your email. If you’re a man and you find your name was “pwned”, there’s approximately a 70% chance that a free account was registered on Ashley Madison by you, someone else or malicious email virus/malware.
If you type in any email and it's part of the database it could mean one of three things: the email owner is an active member of the site, the email owner created an account but doesn't use it or someone else used that person's email to create a fake account including (contrary to Avid Life Media claims) automatic computer generated accounts.
Automated generated accounts result from computer mass marketing emails purchased by almost any business that purchases email list on the internet to enhance their database for advertising purposes.
The bottom line is the account with an email and name on it may not actually be that person's account.
There are other sites which for a fee will verify if the email was actually used on Ashley Madison or any other dating or social network site. This is not recommended because these sites can and will steal your information and sell it to other similar sites. These sites are well known for planting viruses and malware on your computer in order to force your purchase of specific anti-virus/anti-malware software.
The reality is that if your email comes up “pwned” it was probably just the result of sharing your email with s social network or just using your email for online organization memberships, rewards and discount cards, etc.
It is a new day out there so be very careful what you do and say on the internet and don’t believe everything you read.
The preceding article was produced utilizing both confidential and openly reported news sources. This news organization neither condones infidelity, nor is it the intention of this article to impugn the business of on-line dating or specifically Ashley Madison and Avid Life Media.
© 2015 The Outlaw Observer and Opinion